Is Your Home Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
Do you remember the TV show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? It was a quiz show that featured adult contestants answering questions directly from elementary school textbooks.
A new wave of high-tech gadgets can make your home smarter than a 5th grader--or at least make your life more convenient! Here are a few of them...
Personal Digital Assistant
Do you wish your home was like the computer on Star Trek where everything was controlled by voice commands? Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), and Google Assistant (c'mon Google - get creative) allow you to do just that. All you have to do is say their name, and your wish is their command. Control your lights and appliances, add things to your shopping list or place an order, or ask them for the answer to any question. But beware-- whenever someone in my office says "Hey Shari", their Apple phone hears "Hey Siri" and says "Go ahead..."
Smart speakers can tie in with your digital assistant to enable voice commands in every room. In addition, you can hook up your music and other entertainment systems to set the mood in your house just right. Automatically start the music when you wake up or come home, have the volume change on its own when you start the TV and change what's playing with a voice command.
Whether you're trying to save money, go green, or be more comfortable, Wi-Fi thermostats will automate your goal. Unlike a traditional programmable thermostat, there's no schedule to set. Your thermostat learns your daily patterns and adjusts the temperature on its own. Staying out late or coming home sooner? Use the app on your phone to adjust the temperature on the go and come home to a comfortable house.
Smart lights also track your every move, but this time, their job is to light up your world. No more coming into a dark room or forgetting to turn the lights off when you leave. If you want to dim the lights while you watch a movie or have a romantic dinner, just speak up, and your lights will follow your voice commands.
Cloud cameras can attach to your doorbell, exterior surveillance cameras, and interior baby or pet cameras. Greet visitors (or burglars!) 24/7 no matter where you are in the world. If someone breaks in or "porch pirates" steal your delivery, you can easily download the evidence to give it to the police. If you've ever wondered what your pets do while you're away, now you can find out.
Do you struggle to get Wi-Fi across your home or in your backyard? Mesh networking allows you to cover your entire property. Unlike adding a traditional second router, mesh networking provides a seamless connection. As you move around, you aren't dropping your connection while you switch networks. You're staying on the same network the entire time.
Automatic Garage Door Openers
Forget about pushing buttons as you drive in or remembering to put your garage door down. Smart garage door openers work by detecting the movements of your car. Your door will open as you pull in and close as you turn your car off. When you leave, it opens when you turn the key and closes after you leave. And, of course, sensors keep it from shutting if you park your car halfway in.
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